Tottenham must start beating Premier League title rivals - Tom Carroll

Tom Carroll has said Tottenham need to start winning against their title rivals if they are to remain in contention for a maiden Premier League crown.

A tally of 10 points from a possible 12 over the festive schedule has propelled Spurs into fourth place, six points behind leaders Arsenal, increasing talk of a challenge for the title.

The next week could prove crucial to their ambitions, with an FA Cup and Premier League double-header against high-flying Leicester City, who are currently four points clear of the Londoners.

Carroll told Tottenham's official website: "We've got two tough games against Leicester coming up -- they've been doing very well in the league, so they'll be two good tests, but we're looking forward to it."

Mauricio Pochettino's side drew 1-1 with the Foxes at the King Power Stadium in August.

But they have so far taken just seven points from a possible 18 from matches against last season's top six and Leicester.

An opening day defeat at Manchester United was followed by draws against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Leicester before a 4-1 home win over Manchester City.

Carroll said: "Games against the teams around us are the key ones, and if we want to be up there at the end of the season they are the games where we need to get maximum points."

The 23-year-old midfielder has featured in Spurs' last five matches, starting three, and impressed in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Everton.

"Personally, it was nice to get the 90 minutes and be trusted to do that -- hopefully I repaid that trust," he said. "As a group we were good, and on another day I feel we would have got all three points."